West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The lockers lining a corridor at Seattle Lutheran High School carry colorful “Random Acts of Kindness”- words of appreciation from students for schoolmates and staff.
Those messages dovetailed with what students heard this afternoon as the school’s third annual Mental Health Day concluded: “Words matter.”
So declared Todd Crooks, a former SLHS parent who lost his 21-year-old son Chad to mental illness and suicide three years ago.
He spoke to the students at the conclusion of a day meant to help SLHS students learn about mental illness as well as about mental health and how to cope with the stresses life brings. After starting the day with a keynote presentation by a counselor, students spent the morning in breakout sessions learning about specific mental-health issues including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. They rotated through workshops after lunch, focused on coping skills. Some were activities – yoga, tai chi, meditation – while others focused on talking. We listened in to part of the “Mental Health for Men” session, with students listening to a man who had fought depression.
“There’s ways to cope with everything,” he assured the students. He told them he favored getaways and also music – he plays in two bands.
Music was the subject of another workshop all its own, in fact; as we wandered the corridor, we heard the sounds of a guitar, through a closed classroom door.
And that’s when we saw the sticky-note-decorated lockers. Tim Caudle, the faculty member who coordinates Mental Health Day, told us the notes were a student-generated and -led idea. One message on a locker identified as belonging to a staffer caught our eye:
The Random Acts of Kindness were separate from Mental Health Day, and yet they seemed to synergize perfectly.
We joined the students in the gym for the closing assembly, which Caudle opened with thanks for his colleagues on the SLHS mental-health team who helped make the day happen. And then he introduced Todd Crooks.
His words about words were in the context of mindfulness – being mindful of how your words might be heard by someone, even if you don’t intend them to be heard a certain way. “Do you want to risk affecting someone in a way that has long-term impact?”
He also urged the students to take what they had learned this Mental Health Day and carry it out into the world to help others – perhaps going even further, taking a Mental Health First Aid course, for example, so they could be ready to help someone in crisis the way you might do CPR for someone having a heart attack.
And with optimism and hope – the same spirit we noted when covering SLHS’s first Mental Health Day in 2017 – all went out into the afternoon sun.
P.S. Resource links for everything from education to crisis counseling are on the website for Chad’s Legacy Project, founded by Chad’s parents.
If you bought Girl Scout Cookies from Troop 44398, here’s what you’re helping make happen – troop leader Elizabeth Chapman sent the photo and report:
West Seattle Girl Scout Junior Troop 44398 will fly to San Francisco tomorrow to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge with 5,000 other Girl Scouts from all over the United States.This is the largest “bridging ceremony” in the country. The girls sold over 3000 boxes of cookies to meet their travel goal.
This troop of fifth graders have been together since kindergarten and while meeting their travel goals is important to them, they also love supporting their community. This year they supported Seattle Children’s Hospital by donating copies of their favorite books to give to children in the hospital.
8:16 PM: What was briefly a “full response” by Seattle Fire has been downgraded. The fire in the 5200 block of Fauntleroy Way is described by SFD as “a small fire inside a dryer.”
8:59 PM: At the scene, firefighters confirmed that it was out quickly and no one was hurt.
That’s the slide deck circulated for tomorrow morning’s meeting of the Elected Leadership Group in the Sound Transit West Seattle to Ballard light-rail planning process. The 9:30 am meeting at the ST board room downtown (401 S. Jackson) is supposed to culminate with the ELG (here’s the roster – but note that City Councilmember Debora Juarez has replaced ex-CM Rob Johnson) recommendation on potential routing/station locations to go into environmental studies.
New in the slide deck (which you also can see here in PDF), starting at page 61: Visual representations of what the Stakeholder Advisory Group recommended more than a week ago (WSB coverage here). Tomorrow’s meeting includes public comment – here’s the agenda; once the ELG makes its recommendation, the final decision is in the hands of the Sound Transit Board, at committee and full meetings next month.
We’ve received a few questions about the film crew at Don Armeni. All they would tell us is, it’s a TV commercial. They’re shooting intermittently on Harbor Avenue, with this camera-equipped car:
The postponed 4th Avenue SW closure south of Roxbury, for work related to the King County Housing Authority‘s construction in the area, is now set to start Monday. From KCHA:
We have resolved the complex utility conflicts that delayed our road closure and are ready to proceed with the full road closure. We have received final road closure permission from King County Road Services Division, King County Department of Local Services. 4th Avenue SW will be totally closed from SW 100th Street to SW Roxbury Street starting Monday, April 29th. This closure will continue from April 29th to Monday, June 3rd, with the following work hours:
• Monday – Friday 7 AM to 5 PM
• Saturday – 9 AM to 5 PM
There will be additional brief road/lane closures following the initial closure to complete additional work.
We have coordinated with local residents, emergency services, schools, and area service providers.
Seven hours left if you haven’t yet signed up YOUR sale for the 15th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (coordinated by WSB) on May 11th! 11:30 pm tonight (Thursday) is the deadline – we then get busy making sure the clickable and downloadable/printable versions of the map and sale listings will be ready a week in advance of the big day. To register, go here – thank you!
The photo and invitation are from the West Seattle Junction Association:
Junction Spring Clean
Saturday, April 27th
9 AM to Noon
Meet at Junction Plaza Park
Spring clean in the Junction. Join fellow neighbors and businesses for the 3rd Annual West Seattle Junction Spring Clean Saturday, April 27th 9 am to 12 Noon. The Junction QFC will supply breakfast, coffee, cleaning supplies, and a nifty volunteer lunch tote.
Activities include picking up litter, stenciling storm drains to prevent water pollution, painting out graffiti, removing invasive plants, and more. Seattle Public Utilities and the Junction Association support volunteers by providing free tools like garbage bags, gloves, garbage grabbers, safety vests, and paint supplies.
Grab a group of people! It’s a perfect time for organizations, businesses or groups to work together on a volunteer project.
There’s something for everyone, kids included! Meet at Junction Plaza Park (42nd and Alaska). No pre-registration necessary, just show up and be ready to dig in.
Today we’re welcoming CrossFit Loft as a new WSB sponsor!
CrossFit Loft is a West Seattle Junction fitness center with a staff of 17 coaches and flexible options to make your routine work with the hours you keep.
CrossFit Loft offers only month-to-month membership that can be cancelled at any time. They also offer vacation holds so that you’re not charged for those times you might be out of town or unavailable to stop by. CrossFit Kids classes are offered for ages 5-18 years; child care for all ages is available during 9 am CrossFit classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.,
After an initial one-on-one session with a coach to introduce you to what CrossFit Loft offers, you can then work out by yourself or in a group. You can also request personal sessions with one of the coaches at any time. General manager Bethany adds, “As a member of the West Seattle community for over seven years, CrossFit Loft is proud to help our neighbors achieve their fitness goals and much more. Whether you’re looking to be able to tackle Mount Si or play with your grandkids, our coaches are here to tailor every workout to your current ability level and purpose.”
CrossFit Loft is located at 4140 California SW and is open Mondays through Thursdays 5 am to 9 pm, Fridays 5 am to 8 pm, Saturdays 7 am to 3 pm, and Sundays 8 am to 2 pm.
We thank CrossFit Loft for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Just two days until city-run Southwest Pool shuts down for a month. The work that will be done during the closure is part of a citywide package of repairs and maintenance that one contractor is handling, according to Seattle Parks, which says the pool’s liner will be removed and replaced. This is separate from the accessibility work that has been under way for months (we’ve asked Parks for an update on when that will be done and will add that info here when it’s available). The facilities co-housed in the building at 2801 SW Thistle, the Neighborhood Service Center and SW Teen Life Center, will remain open. And remember that city-run outdoor Colman Pool in Lincoln Park is opening earlier this year – with pre-season weekends starting May 11-12.
As always, there’s lots on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar. Here are five of the highlights:
2347 44TH SW PROJECT ‘EARLY OUTREACH’: If you have comments and/or questions about the four-house project planned at this site, join project-team reps there at 5:30 pm for a site walk and “early outreach” meeting. (2347 44h SW)
NEW SDOT DIRECTOR, PLUS AVALON PROJECT … those are the highlights of the agenda for tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting. All welcome to come hear from new SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe as well as Adonis Ducksworth from the Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving/rechannelization projet, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
4-HAND PIANO CONCERT: Come to The Kenney (WSB sponsor) at 6:30 pm for an “American Souvenirs” 4-Hand Piano Concert with Dainius and Asta Vaicekonus. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
DRAG RACE, WITH PIE: As noted here on Wednesday, A la Mode Pies in The Junction will be open later Thursday nights – starting tonight – until 10:30 pm so you can watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and enjoy the shop’s festive fare, including, of course pies as well as, among other things, boozy milkshakes. The show’s on at 9. (4225 SW Alaska)
INTO THE COLD: Live music at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral way)
What was a dingy concrete wall at Lafayette Elementary School is now alive with color.
Muralist Lina Cholewinski, (added) for Urban ArtWorks, led what she refers to as a team of 400 artists in its creation. We stopped by on Wednesday as finishing touches were applied.
She sketched out designs on the wall, and the kids then painted them in on Earth Day. Principal Cindy Chaput said the school had been looking for an Earth Day project and it all came together with the help of the Lafayette PTA.
Parents were part of the team – some were there during our visit, doing touchup and finishing work with the artist herself.
Something cool happening at YOUR school? Let us know – email@example.com – thank you!
7:02 AM: Good morning! No transit alerts or traffic problems reported in our area so far.
BEACH DRIVE PAVING CONTINUES: Between Me-Kwa-Mooks and Weather Watch Parks.
STADIUM ZONE: The Mariners are back home tonight vs. the Rangers, 7:10 pm, which means the West Seattle Water Taxi runs into the late evening.
8:02 AM: Crash blocking 1 lane of NB 99/509 just south of the 1st Av S Bridge.
8:33 AM: Cleared.